Characters: Hawkeye Pierce
Spoilers: Nothing specific.
Summary: Hawkeye muses on what it means to be a surgeon in a M*A*S*H unit.
Word Count: 281
Written For: My own prompt ‘M*A*S*H, Hawkeye, There's not a body part that he hasn't had to repair or remove,’ at fic_promptly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own M*A*S*H, or the characters. They belong to their creators.
There’s little room for specialisation in a M*A*S*H unit; the injured are carted in one after the other, in an endless stream. As soon as you finish with one, you pull off your gloves, get a fresh set from one of the nurses, and turn to your next patient. The worst injuries get dealt with first, minor things like broken bones get left until last. Hours pass without notice, time marked only by the number of war casualties already patched up, and the slowly diminishing number of those still waiting their turn.
By this point in his tour of duty, which has already lasted years rather than months, Hawkeye feels a depressing certainty that there’s not a body part he hasn’t at some point either repaired or separated from its owner. With the possible exception of brains, although he’s dubious about whether some of the officers even had one of those to start with. He has his doubts about some of the enlisted men too, considering their willingness to go back out there as soon as they’re well enough, knowing that sooner or later they’ll be right back on one of these tables being stitched back together again.
It’s like a nightmarish assembly line, although as often as not he finds himself disassembling the kids that come under his knife; amputating limbs, removing a damaged kidney here, a few feet of bowel there, an eye that’s beyond any hope of fixing…
The sirens go off, the ambulances pour in, disgorging more broken bodies, and all he can do is gown up, wade in, and try to save as many young lives as possible. When is this war ever going to end?